MORTON club captain Jim McAlister has questioned his side’s mentality after slipping to a heavy defeat to Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday.

The Pars ran out comfortable winners at the weekend, with Aidan Keena, Faissal El Bakhtaoui and James Craigen all finding the back of the net for the hosts.

It could have been more and Morton were toothless in attack and rarely threatened the home side’s goal throughout the 90 minutes.

The defeat came after a convincing away win over Peterhead and impressive performances on the road against Ayr United and Queen of the South.

But not for the first time this season, the Ton were comfortably beaten as their inconsistent form continues.

The captain was scathing in his assessment of his team’s performance and questioned his side’s desire after another dismal display with the midfielder saying the blame lands firmly with the players — rather than the manager.

They now host a Dundee United side who will also be reeling after suffering a 5-0 loss at the hands of Ayr United at Tannadice on Friday night.

He told the Tele: “It’s been the story of the season. You think you turn a corner and then you concede three goals, or in previous cases it’s been five. Everyone needs to have a look at themselves.

“The manager and Housty [Peter Houston, assistant manager] have prepared us properly for the game, we knew what to expect and you can’t start the game the way we started. We could have been four or five-nil down inside the first 15 minutes and that’s not acceptable.

“It can’t keep happening. Time will tell. Any time we have taken a hit over the season we have responded the following week, but you can’t keep doing that as the pressure keeps coming.

“We’ve got a big game next week against Dundee United who will be in a similar boat to us at Cappielow after what happened on Friday night.

“It starts today, and it might take senior players in the squad to start getting onto people about training properly.”

The former Blackpool and Dundee defender says he and team-mates Chris Millar and Michael Tidser have conversations amongst themselves about how it’s now a ‘different generation of football players’ coming through the ranks nowadays.

The Ton players and manager often talk about how harmonious and how together the squad are, but the captain said that might count against themselves sometimes.

He added: “At times are we maybe too nice?
“Me, Midge and Tids have conversations sometimes, are we the last of a dying breed in terms of football players where it really hurts to lose games?

“I’m by no means distancing ourselves from the blame of that performance, we’re part of that as well, but you’re in that as a team. You win as a team and lose as a team.

“Is it a different generation of football players that are coming through? Time will tell.

“The teams that are in our league that seem to have more older heads, if you like at Ayr’s team, through the spine of their team is it any coincidence why they’re really successful as a team?

“We’re coming to the latter stages of your career and it hurts as much as it did when you were 17 or 18, but there was still a burning desire to be successful, you never lose that.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever had as many ups and downs as a player before Christmas in my career.

“That’s probably a new thing which seems to be a couple of good performances and results and then bang, you lose a game heavily.

“We lost 5-1 to Ayr, 5-0 to Ross County and 3-0 on Saturday, we’ll learn more about us as a team and a squad by the end of next week.”